Biz-Archive Tute-List

  1. Dorothy

  2. Ellen

  3. Dag

  4. NJ

  5. Carolyn

What I'm making for this swap


Back to MSATClayArt Swap List

Uganda Pots: My neighbor, Jolie, is from Uganda and brought her pots over for me to see. We're doing a mini pot swap and I thought that the claymates would like to see too. 
9-14, Pinch Pot Swap, Dorothy is host:
That's me! Mini" pinch pot swap.  Pots are to be less than 2" tall.
 Sign up ends on Aug 10, and they are to be at my house by Sept 14th.  (my Mom's b-day in Aug, and daughters b-day in Sept)
I really would like to see everyone make one pot for each person who signs up; but am willing to let you just make a few. So far the sign up includes Ellen, Kay, NJ and myself.  (see, so far easy to just make one for each person who has signed up)
I decided to host this swap because I've been working at trying to make a pinch pot, and now I HAVE to figure them out.
To sign up send an email to me at or through the list.  I would prefer to me directly, so that I get your email addy to send you my snail mail addy.  (make sense?)
Sign up will end Aug 10 (my Mom's b-day)

Mini Pinch Pot Tutorial


I'm up for the Pinch Pot Swap. I have them made already, ain't that
cheating? Nope... LOL

Tongues of Fire mini pinch pots is what I'm going to send for this

Who else is up for the practice of Pinch Pots?

Dig it... I made amphors, pinch pots made with tiger cane and made a
stopper for the top and filled them with essential oils. Regular
vanity table sort of things can be made knowing this pinch pot

Ya, it's a chore to learn something new, but start out big and work
your way down to the mini size, once you know how to do it you'll own
that skill set.

Also tackling something that other people think is difficult makes
your finished product more valuable, it took time to learn this, it
was a chore, most folks avoid time consuming chores, so their pinch
pots won't be out there competing with yours.

Ya, that's the ticket.

So I'm in ...heck fire, I'm done already. LOL



Thank you Dorothy for writing to all the Pot Heads. So who's in the
swap? I'd like to update the page.

Anyone doing pinch pots and having difficulty post to the list. Let us
know where it goes wonky and we'll walk you through it step by step.

Here's the swap page and there's a link to the pinch pot tutorial


How many ways to peel a shrimp? Or There's no "right way " to make a mini pinch pot.

When faced with a boiled shrimp there's different ways to go about
peeling it. Down in the south there's tail pulling and head sucking.
Chinese pan fried shrimp I like to suck the spices off of the whole
shrimp and then peel it little by little down to the tail.

In Gulliver's Travels a whole war was fought between two countries
for the debate on which end of the soft boiled egg should be up to
crack when eating breakfast, the round end or the pointy end.

In such things there's not a right way of doing it or a wrong way of
doing it if the thing gets done.

Same with pinch pots. You can use any tool, if it comes out a pinch
pot in the end then it's what you wanted. There's no official way and
if there were I'd find a way to shave off a half a dozen steps and
make it an Easy Breezy way, like the blend. Skinner blend 24 passes
in the press, Easy Breezy a half a dozen. Is the blend any less
blended, nope, it just took less time.

If you took a ball of clay, stuck the end of a chop stick in it and
rolled it on the table top. That's a pot. That's also a smaller
version of what a potter does on a wheel.

When a potter works with earth clay and a wheel, the clay has to be
centered for the spin. When it is centered (Anyone see Ghost? Patrick
Swazey and Demi Moore with the potter's wheel... how sexy was that
already?) when it is centered the potter inserts a thumb down in the
middle of the top of the mound of clay and as the wheel is turning
the potter pulls wall of the pot with the thumb, or finger, or whole
hand and arm, depending on how large the pot is.

We don't have a wheel. We have to turn our little pots around with
our finger tips. We can't insert a thumb into the mound of clay we
have so we have to use a smaller substitute, a pencil or chop stick.

The only pinching that one need do is to close up the neck. But when
you pinch turning around and round the neck does get narrow but the
walls of the neck get all thick. So put a dusted tool down the neck
to open it up and pull the clay up the tool, just like Kathy did.

Some earth clay potters don't make pots on a wheel. There's the coil
method of pot making. Roll out a really long snake. Coil the snake
around and around to make the bottom and stop expanding the bottom by laying the snake coil on itself to go upward, go up as far as you
want and start to stair step the coils inward to close up the top.
Smooth and you're ready to cure.

There's more than one way to make a pot, just as there are so many
different shapes and sizes we can make our pots. Complex designs on
canes can be very nice pots. In tongues of fire, links on the mini
pinch pot swap, I found a simple geometric pattern of layered colors
when made into a pinch pot made flames. A very under utilized effect
those flames. Once folks find out that their chop with Tongues of
fire makes happy devil faces and that the scrap when cut like collage
makes flames for camp fires ... they just can't stop finding uses for
these clay flames, but I digress.

A simple parquet pattern in a cane will make wonderous swirls and
flames in a pinch pot because you've compressed the design and then
pulled it upward. That manipulates the pattern. One of the unique and
wonderous features of this medium.

So free yourself of any misconception that there's only one way to
make a mini pinch pot. If you find that making it with your feet
using the out door water faucet handle gives you the results you
require then I'll put those pictures of you laying in the pitunias up
in the claymate showcase and tell the world how inventive you are.


When you start to feel limited, thinking that you're not doing it
the "right way" I want you to think of peeling shrimp. There's more
than one way and new techniques come from people freeing their minds
to find their own way if all methods shown just don't make the light
bulb click on over their heads.

Find a better way, an easier way, and it'll be named after you, just
you wait and see if it don't.

So that's my nownowtherethere to Bonsai Kathy. You done good honey
lamb, anyway that gets it done is the right way. If you find a new
way then you're an inventor and that's a good thing.